LUFKIN, Texas — A gallant comeback effort by the #4 seed San Jacinto College men’s basketball team fell short in an 80-71 loss to #1 seed Trinity Valley Community College on Friday, March 4, in the semifinal round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV tournament at Angelina College in Lufkin. With the loss, San Jac is out of the single-elimination tournament.
The nation’s top ranked Trinity Valley was highly favored to easily win the semifinal game. Yet, underdog San Jac gave the Cardinals a run for their money. Down by as much as 24 in the second half, San Jac pulled within 7 at the 2-minute mark thanks to tenacious defense and hustle.
Head Coach Scott R. Gernander was proud of the gutsy comeback effort. “At the halftime break, I told the guys you can either lay down and get blown out by 40 or more points, or you can go back out there and put up a good fight and get back in the game,” he commented. “That’s exactly what they did. If we had played as well in the first half as we did in the second half, then we would have won.” Indeed, San Jac outscored Trinity Valley 42-33 in the second half. Unfortunately, it was not enough to offset the lopsided first half when San Jac was outscored 47-29.
Gernander is also proud of the overall performance of the team this season. “After the game, I told them thank you all for being good people on and off the court,” he said. “Looking back over the season, all of you have come a long way.” San Jac finished the season in second place in the Region XIV South Zone with an overall record of 22-10.
In the game against Trinity Valley, freshman guard Jorden Duffey (Upper Marlboro, Maryland / Bennett High School) had a solid all-around game, scoring 15 points, with 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Freshman guard Corey Davis (Lafayette, Louisiana / Lafayette High School) was the high scorer with 16 points. Sophomore forward Josh Huntley (Lauderdale Lakes, Florida / Deerfield Beach High School) had key contributions on defense, grabbing 16 rebounds.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.